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Paws for Beer 2014 Travel Wrap Up

Paws for Beer 2014 Travel Wrap Up
Boomer headin’ west on the Oregon Trail

With this being the last post of the 2014 year I wanted to recap my travels of the year. Honestly I had a great year for traveling despite losing my job in April. I have a new job, but the pay and vacation time will be difficult to keep me on pace with what I am familiar with (and should I say comfortable with).

Paws for Beer 2014 Travel Wrap Up
A bucket list item – taking a hot air balloon ride

My first trip of the year was to California. California is not unfamiliar territory to me as my friends Meg and Kris live there and I visit them once a year. We changed things up by visiting Temecula California instead of staying around Orange County where Meg and Kris live. Meg and I went on a wine tasting tour and took a hot air balloon ride while in Temecula. The balloon ride was a bucket list activity for me but I was not totally blown away like I thought I was going to be.  It was still a fun experience however.

Paws for Beer 2014 Travel Wrap Up
The “Bean”

My next trip was also on my bucket list. I visited Chicago Illinois, or more importantly I took the annual Frank Lloyd Wright walking tour in Oak Park Illinois. This was the highlight of my year and I am grateful that I was able to go as I was unemployed at that point and strapped for cash. I visited 9 Frank Lloyd Wright structures over a period of 2 days.  It was amazing!

Paws for Beer 2014 Travel Wrap Up
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House

I navigated the city in true Paws for Beer fashion… with getting lost often. I did have an enjoyable time as the city exposed me to things I would not typically experience in my small town life. Such as subways, streets I shouldn’t walk down and massive amounts of traffic. Another thing I am grateful for is listening to my friend Jen’s advice and used public transportation instead of driving. I love having the freedom of a car but good grief that traffic would have been the death of me!

Paws for Beer 2014 Travel Wrap Up
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin

Also while on this trip I visited Wisconsin. Not an overly flashy location, but neither are a lot of the places I visit. While in Wisconsin I ticked another bucket list item off by visiting Taliesin. This was a long sought after trip as I am a Frank Lloyd Wright fan and this was his home away from the city. It also was the location of much tragedy as well as inspiration for Wright. The home is breathtaking and a huge highlight of my life seeing the home.

Paws for Beer 2014 Travel Wrap Up
Boomer enjoying his time at the ocean

My next trip was to Oregon State. This trip was slightly disappointing as I still had not found a job yet and decided to cut this 10 day trip down to 3 days. I missed out on a lot of things I had been looking forward to but in the interest of keeping Boomer and I fed I cut the trip down. We still had a great time however, with Astoria Oregon being my favorite part of our time in Oregon.

Paws for Beer 2014 Travel Wrap Up
Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

Although Cape Disappointment as well as the Snoqualimie Falls, both in Washington State, were fun excursions as we made our way home from Oregon.

I made a quick dash in August to Helena Montana for a brew festival with my friend Jen and Boomer. It was a fast trip but worth the adventure. I am always a fan of trying new beer and the festival was full of many Montana beers to choose from. I even found a new favorite, the Prickly Pear from Lewis and Clark Brewing.

Paws for Beer 2014 Travel Wrap Up
Lake McDonald

My final trip of the year was to a day road trip to Montana where Boomer and I took a scenic drive along Lake Koocanusa, stopping in Whitefish Montana for some beer and popping in on one of our favorite National Parks, Glacier, before the Going to the Sun Road officially closed for the season.

My annual September trip was cancelled this year, which was a huge disappointment. I had planned on visiting Colorado. Colorado was a new state for me, but also a state well known for doing beer right! I am working on a trip for next year but it will be substantially cut down as the original trip was planned for two weeks. I now only have a week of vacation at my new job, which is quite challenging as I use to have 7 weeks. I am accustom to moving fast on my trips so hopefully I will be able to satisfy some of my travel bug needs.

Paws for Beer 2014 Travel Wrap Up
Meet Buddy

Although not travel related my next mention will definitely impact my travel experiences. I adopted another dog. His name is Buddy, an Australian Cattle Dog, otherwise known as a Blue Heeler. When I started my new job as a dog kennel manager I knew this could be a problem. In fact I even told my boss that I would probably end up with another dog because there will be some dog in need of a home. It is one of the reasons I do not allow myself to go into our local shelter. I would take them all.

Here is a little history on the new addition to our family. Buddy is 12 years old, but has an amazing amount of energy and mobility for a dog of his age. He and his brother Eddie came to the kennel and were placed in long-term boarding as their owners were in life care. Unfortunately Buddy and Eddie outlived their owners and were looking for a home. I was able to help Eddie find a home but Buddy was slightly difficult as he was older.  I felt a good connection to Buddy and decided to give him a home. It has been a challenge between Buddy and Boomer, but I know Boomer will adjust overtime. It is never easy to be an only dog and then become a family of dogs. Boomer has been a very good sport with the change however.  Although I sometimes get a look from Boomer that I have broken his heart. Apparently Boomer does not like living in a pack 🙂

I am interested to see how the addition of Buddy will change the dynamic of our travels. Due to Buddy’s age I will probably not take him on long-haul trips but I am looking forward to taking him on shorter trips. He was in the kennel for over a year and he deserves to have a little fun, right?!??!

Because I like lists I have listed all the places I traveled to this year
(bolded cities/states are locations I and/or Boomer had never been before):

Laguna Niguel

Oak Park

Spring Green

Astoria (Boomer)
Newport (Boomer)
Hood River (Boomer)
Newberg (Boomer)

Walla Walla (Boomer)
Snoqualmie (Boomer)
North Bend (Boomer)

Cape Disappointment (Boomer)

Missoula (Boomer)
Helena (Boomer)
Glacier National Park (Boomer)
Whitefish (Boomer)
Lake Koocanusa (Boomer)
Kootneai Falls and Swinging Bridge (Boomer)

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